The auto experts at Platte City Airport-Chrysler share what to look for during a test drive.
It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: you’ve scoured the internet, perused one car lot after another and, finally, you’ve found a car that you’re ready to test drive.
But car shoppers take heed: test drives can often be like falling head over heels in love.
Sometimes eagerness and desire can cause you to overlook issues occurring in the car that you’ll come to greatly resent once you’ve driven your new love off the lot. The best way to prepare for a test drive is to check your excitement when you open the driver’s side door and have this checklist (in hand or on your smartphone) to remind you of these important factors to consider while driving:
Safety and Performance
- How does it accelerate and brake? Does the car accelerate sufficiently for your preferences? Does it seem to lag as if it has a problem? Does the car brake well, even in quick stops and at higher speeds? Besides checking the braking of the car, make sure you check tire tread after the test drive.
- How does it handle? Are you easily able to turn the car? Does the steering feel agile enough, but not too loose for your preference?
- Do you notice any strange vibrations, emissions from the tail pipe, noises or the steering wheel pulling to one side? These are key warning signs to look for in a test drive that can signal much larger problems at hand. If you can, bring along a passenger who might feel vibrations that you can’t in the driver’s seat.
- How does it drive at higher speeds? Some problems with cars can’t be felt or noticed until you’re going above 60 miles an hour or above. In that case, make sure that you take the car for a ride on a highway or interstate where you’ll be able to maintain a higher speed for a few minutes in order to check for problems.
- How’s the visibility? Bigger cars, SUVs and trucks can sometimes have limited visibility. Are you comfortable with the vehicles blind spots, or does the vehicle provide cameras to help you see well enough to feel comfortable?
Driver and Passenger Comfort
- Do the heat and air work properly? Don’t forget to turn on both the heat and the air. Improperly functioning AC systems definitely warrant a reduction in price.
- Do the speakers sound good? Make sure those speakers aren’t busted!
- Are you comfortable in the driver’s seat? There’s nothing worse than a long car trip in an uncomfortable seat. Make sure you’re pleased with the amount of headspace, the lumbar support, seat adjustments and your visibility from where you sit.
- What’s the ride like in the rest of the car? Is the passenger seat equally as comfortable? Is there adequate legroom in the back seat for your passengers when your driver’s seat is adjusted for you?
- Are the controls easy and intuitive for you to operate? Trying to figure out how to turn on the radio or adjust the air while driving can be dangerous. Make sure you feel comfortable in the general design of the air and tech controls.
While this checklist may seem a daunting reminder of all the things that can be wrong with a car, working with a professional dealership to locate the perfect new or certified pre-owned car can help you check off these boxes with confidence.
Platte City Airport-Chrysler is proud to offer you new Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep models, as well as a variety of gently used and reliable automobiles. Schedule your test drive today at our convenient location next to 1-29, just northwest of the metro Kansas City area.